The TEF Entrepreneurship Forum 2018 took place at the Balmoral Event Centre, Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos. The event brought entrepreneurs, guests, investors and dignitaries together under one roof to mark the fourth year of the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme and celebrate African entrepreneurs doing incredible things in their respective countries and sectors.
Here are some highlights from the event.
- CEO, Parminder Vir, Recounts the Achievements of the Foundation and its Entrepreneurs
During her welcome address, the CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Parminder Vir, stated that the Foundation has invested 20 million dollars in seed capital to 4000 entrepreneurs in the four years that the program has run. She also stated that within 18 month and 2 years of being a part of the programme, the entrepreneurs have generated 52 million dollars in revenue and created 12 thousand jobs. Before the program, they were generating 18 million dollars in revenue and created 4 thousand jobs.
- Alumni and Mentors Rewarded for Outstanding Achievements
There are over 3000 alumni and 700 mentors on the entrepreneurship programme who are changing the African narrative through their ingenuity and innovation in their respective business.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation recognised the entrepreneurs and mentors who have made outstanding impact in 2018. These awards were presented by Dr Awele V. Elumelu, TEF Trustee and CEO Avon Medical.
- Dr Elumelu Champions Health Sector Development and Female Empowerment
Dr Awele V. Elumelu, TEF Trustee and GAVI champion for immunisation, had a Fireside Chat with CNNMoney Africa correspondent Eleni Giokos. The conversation was engaging and informative as they discussed the importance of private and public sector partnerships for the African economy, government support for the health sector especially through funding and the importance of investing in the African woman.
- Energetic Business Pitches from TEF Entrepreneurs
Five TEF entrepreneurs took part in a pitching competition anchored by BBC News Correspondent, Mayeni Jones. These entrepreneurs were given three minutes to deliver a pitch to an expert panel of judges. The panel had Sam Nwanze, Lanre Da Silva-Ajayi, Oluchi Orlandi and Alessia Balducci who asked questions all gave the entrepreneurs advise drawing from their wealth of experience in business.
The entrepreneurs were Vital Sounovou of Exportunity (Benin Republic), Sandra Onwuekwu of Ecoprune (Nigeria), Jessica Rakotoarisa of Nomad Solar Bag (Madagascar), Mohamed Dhaouafi of Cure Medicare (Tunisia) and Mahassin Quadri of Cash Madam (Nigeria). Mahassin Quadri emerged the winner of the competition.
- Words of Wisdom from Leaders
One of the major highlights of the forum came when the Founder of TEF, Mr Tony O. Elumelu, the President of Ghana and the President of Kenya addressed the audience. The President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta gave a goodwill message to Mr Tony O. Elumelu and the entrepreneurs via an online video stream. He affirmed his support for the growth of entrepreneurship on the continent and implored policymakers to create polices that create an environment for young entrepreneurs to thrive.
President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana and Mr Tony Elumelu continuation the conversation by discussing the role of the government in the growth of the economy and the opportunities that exist in Africa. It was an enlightening discussion that ended with a question and answer session with the entrepreneurs.
- The Launch of TEFConnect
One of the most anticipated aspects of the TEF Forum 2018 was the launch of TEFConnect, the world’s largest digital platform for African entrepreneurs and the larger entrepreneurship ecosystem.
This session was anchored by the Business Information Specialist of the Foundation, Folarin Aiyegbusi, who mentioned some of the benefits of the platform which include a thriving marketplace, access to free business tools, networking and funding opportunities.
The President of Ghana, Mr Tony O. Elumelu, Parminder Vir, Governor Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar of Bauchi State, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, Governor of Kebbi State, Dr Awele V. Elumelu, the TEF Partners and other dignitaries were also present on stage for the launch.
- The Buzzing TEF Marketplace
At the forum, the marketplace was delightful and aesthetically pleasing. The entrepreneurs were given a space to showcase their products and services, network with guests and to meet with potential investors. The crowning jewel of the marketplace experience came when the President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo and Mr Tony O. Elumelu toured the space to meet the entrepreneurs.